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Études-Tableaux, Op. 39
Sonata No. 8, Op. 84
Jonathan Powell has long been associated with Russian repertoire (his first appearance at the JdP featured all of Scriabin’s piano sonatas), and this programme presents three contrasting and gigantic personalities. Rachmaninoff’s second, and to many, greatest set of études was the last work he completed before leaving Russia, never to return. They are at turns haunting, lyrical, complex and jubilant. The Poèmes by his contemporary Scriabin could hardly be more different, yet still reflect the mystical and apocalyptic obsessions of the time. Prokofiev’s 8th Sonata, written some three decades later, is perhaps his richest essay in the genre and offers many rewards to performer and audience alike.